Ironing Things Out

Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens a friend’s character.
Proverbs 27:17
I’ve been on a workout kick with my dear friend, Sandra, for the last few weeks. We’ve been drinking our water (lots and lots and lots), eating more protein, eating less sweets, and encouraging one another every day to “keep on going”.
If I didn’t receive her text me every morning, I’m not so sure I’d be nearly as motivated to get my physical therapy homework and additional exercise done.
For me, there is something motivational about being held to a standard. 
I’ve been going to physical therapy for several months now. Last week, Rusty (my physical therapist) told me to jump up on a 4 inch block. *GRRRRR!*
I could NOT make myself jump. I was scared to death. He switched it out for the 2 inch tall box. I stood there, looking at it. It felt like it took me FOREVER to get up the courage to jump 2 little inches off the ground! I was so mad at me for not being able to do it. I thought about it all week.

Today, he immediately brought out the 4-inch box… my nemesis. 

This is how I felt…

arch-nemesis_o_1624417

BUT this time… it did not take forever.

AND… I jumped on that 4-inch box 15 times.

YES. I. DID!

My physical therapist knows just how to push my buttons. And when I don’t feel like I’ve reached my goals in PT, I always go home feeling like I need to do MORE. So I keep stretching and working on the things I need to work, hoping that the next week I will do better.

But what happens when my physical therapy is done? And what happens if Sandra is out of town and can’t text for some reason? Do I stop working toward the goal?

NO.

I have realized that I also have internal motivation. I want to be healthy for me, for my family, for whatever the Lord has planned for me day to day and for the days coming up. I don’t know that I’ve felt this much drive to get healthy in a long, long time.. .maybe ever! Many times I would “try” to lose weight and get healthy – then stop when I didn’t see results. But this time, it’s different. I can’t explain it. I just know.

And these verses speaks to my soul in a big, big way… so I’m claiming it for my life!

God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
    He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
    And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind. Isaiah 40: 28-31 (the Message)

I’d love to hear your success stories. Have you been on a physical journey that required internal motivation to get started and/or to keep going? Did you have others on your journey who helped to sharpen your character and hold you to a standard? How have you seen God at work in your circumstances?

Congratulations to all the winners

Damon Dean, my worthy opponent, won our matchup in the 3rd round of the MADNESS POETRY competition. Congratulations, my poetic friend! Emily Weaver (another poetry buddy) won her matchup as well! WAY TO GO, Y’ALL!

He is now pitted against Hannah Holt. Voting starts tomorrow at 10am! There only a few matchups left in the competition. Show your poetry love by heading over there tomorrow to read and vote for your favorites!

My consolation in the last matchup is that I won the student vote. This means…

camel

(thanks to meme generator and whoever created this crazy pic. It made me giggle!)

 

Last day to vote for Round 3!

Hi y’all! This is the last day to vote in the 3rd round of the Madness Poetry Competition! I am up against a really good poet, Damon Dean. You’ll find his lovely poem pitted against my gross poem here: http://madnesspoetry.com/matchup/likened-vs-abundant-1488171423262×802710174582898600

There are 7 other matchups that need votes, too! If you get a chance, I know all the poets would appreciate your input. ALSO – if you are a teacher, your classrooms can vote, too!

Sweet Sixteen

So… I’ve made it into the sweet sixteen… of poetry, that is! Huge thanks to all who have been reading and voting over at Madnesspoetry.com. I know I can speak for all the poets and say… Y’ALL ROCK. 🙂

We receive our new words tomorrow evening. I’ll keep you posted!

 

 

MADNESS POETRY and catching up!

Hi y’all!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I have had a lot going on. Mainly, I’ve been recovering from my ACL surgery in January. I’m going to Physical Therapy and learning to be VERY thankful for two healthy legs. It’s apparent to my physical therapist (and anyone else in hearing distance) that I am impatient and I don’t like the stuff he tells me to do. But I am also determined to do every single REP he assigns (regardless of how hard it is!). Yep… that means I’m stubborn, too. Just being real, ya’ll… just being real!

I’ve also been busy participating in the poetry contest, MADNESS POETRY! This is the first I’ve been able to get in. It’s crazy-good poetic fun! I made it past the first round and I am now up against Jessica Whiteside in Round 2. There are tons of great matchups in this competition!  http://madnesspoetry.com/matchups  

If you are a teacher, you can register your class to vote. It’s a great way to teach poetry and help your students get excited about writing!  http://madnesspoetry.com/teach 

My Mouth

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” James 1:19

Just because I can say something doesn’t mean I should.

My opinion is my opinion… and because of the brave men and women who fought for our country’s freedoms, I have the freedom and right to voice my opinion. I also have the right to keep my big mouth shut. More importantly for me, as a Christian (because of the sacrifice of Christ) I also believe that anything I say (especially my opinion) should be shared from a place of love and compassion. “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24

In Being Frank, Ms. Zaroma says, “You don’t have to say everything you’re thinking.” Sadly, I have not always followed my own advice. I have hurt others with my words, spoken and written. I have regretted the things that popped out of my mouth before thinking them through. I have shared my opinions on my social media quite freely and often times without as much thought as the moment required.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

Too often, my answer is anything but gentle — and not at all in line with the above scripture. I’m opinionated… and I know it. I feel strongly about things… lots of things. And this is the reason I have kept my mouth shut (mostly) on all things political for the last few months. I was very vocal before the election, but have decided to turn my voice upwards in prayer. I believe that God can move stubborn mountains… explosive volcanoes… and all things that seem unmovable. I serve a mighty, mighty God and refuse to place my faith in man or woman (including myself). I never have, and I don’t intend to start now.

“She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26

I want to to speak with kindness and wisdom – but far too often I just want to talk. And all the things I are not always the things I should say. They are not full of wisdom, kindness, or love.

If I want my words to start to reflect the love of God, I need to do what He told me to do. I need to pray for my my enemies (and frenemies), and those who see me as such. I need to love others as I have been loved – and forgive as I have been forgiven. But these goals can only be reached by allowing God to work in me as only He can — and yes… I’m a lot of work. I’m glad to be able to apply Paul’s declaration to my life, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”

I am thankful that God loves me right where I am, but loves me too much to leave me there. I am glad he feels the same about us all.

And that is that.

What Do We Want?

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals.
Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.
One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

Today, as I pondered our current political climate and rhetoric, I decided to look up verses on Hope. One of the verses that popped up was John 5:6, “Do you want to get well?”

That’s the question for our nation, isn’t it?

DO WE WANT TO GET WELL?

As a nation, we have been in a “condition” for a long time. We are are lame, blind, and paralyzed by fear and sin. We hate those that disagree with us. We complain and shout about the sins others, but refuse to take responsibility for our own failings and hate infused actions. We disregard human life, the yet unborn and the fully living, treating our fellow human as disposable, less than, and as property to be bought and sold.

No one but Jesus could help the man in John 5 — and the same is true for our country. We look to politicians to “save” us from the mess we have created for ourselves, when we need to repent and seek the face of God.

He alone can save, yet as a nation, we refuse to call on the one who raises the dead – and instead settle into tombs of our own design, becoming comfortable wrapped in the stench of death.

What then, shall we do?

Christians have been given the task of loving as Christ loves, but we have chosen to love our own agendas more than the command that Jesus gave us.  We point fingers. We yell. We shout. We disregard the example of Christ in our quest to “convince” others that we love God. Jesus is clear —

“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” — John 13: 34-35

We, as a nation, need to repent, seek God’s face, His forgiveness, His guidance, His vision and love for His creation… all of His creation.

We must refuse to allow fear and anger to replace Faith.

We must refuse to allow fear and anger to replace Hope.

We must refuse to allow fear and anger to replace Love.

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. T
 Jesus didn’t stir the water. He didn’t suggest the man get up. He asked him a question… then gave a command — GET UP AND WALK.
The message is the same for us. We must stop waiting for the “stirring of the water”, because too often we are simply watching as others “stir the pot” and we waste time and resources on dead end promises made by mere men.
Instead, we must reply to Jesus’ question. “Do we want to get well?” If so, then we must do as Jesus commanded —
GET UP AND WALK.
I John 2: 3-6 says it all…

“This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” yet doesn’t keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected.[a] This is how we know we are in Him: The one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.”

Now that is something to ponder.

Saturday in Verse – August 6

I had the opportunity to visit Carowinds with my sweet kiddos and combined fantastic church youth groups today. The first place some of us checked out was the Dinosaurs Alive exhibit. I was intrigued by the representation of these giant animals… and also by the marketing genius of the signs throughout. Thus, 20160806_102537

today’s poem was inspired by the signs you see below.

DO NOT FEED THE DINOSAURS by Donna Earnhardt

Do not feed the Dinosaurs.

Not in ANY event.

You’ll wonder how they ate so fast…

and where your fingers went.

D20160806_104933o not RIDE the Dinosaurs.

Saddles hurt their backs.

They’ll buck you off and you’ll end up…

as gooey Dino-snacks.

20160806_102801

 

Saturday-in-Verse (late)

My poem for Saturday (two days late) is inspired by the Word-of-the-Month prompt over on David L. Harrison’s page. The word is ESCAPE. Anyone can participate.  Just use the word ESCAPE (this month’s word) and post it in the comments. It’s a great way to get the creative juices flowing! https://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/adult-word-of-the-month-poem/#comment-31364

My poem is in the form of an acrostic:

Every day – moments
Sliced into 24 sections and I
Count them, giggle by giggle, dream by dream
Alarm bells ring, reminding me that I can’t
Pause the clock… tick-tock, tick-tock…
Every day – moments

*******

Sadly, we can’t stop or escape the clock… but we can decide to live every moment to it’s fullest and be thankful for the time we are given! If you decide to write a poem with the word ESCAPE, share it here or over on David’s site.